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issue: March 2005 APPLIANCE Magazine

Tokyo Report
Japanese OEMs Respond to European A/C Market Boom


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By Wasaku Ishida, Japanese correspondent, APPLIANCE magazine, and vice president, JARN (Japan Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News)

Triggered by intense heat waves of prior years, air-conditioners are growing in popularity in the European market.

In response, major Japanese manufacturers are planning to enhance European supplies of air-conditioners.

Sanyo Electric will construct a new factory in China, which is predicted to increase production of air-conditioners for the European market. The company is investing approximately 1 billion yen (approx. U.S. $9.6 million) to construct the new factory. The facility is expected to double the company’s production capacity in China to 1.2 million units. Using the Chinese facility as its second base for the European market, Sanyo hopes to achieve a 20-percent increase in the number of units sold worldwide to 20 million units in 2006. The company will also establish a commercial air-conditioner factory in Hungary.

In September 2004, Daikin opened a small residential air-conditioner assembly factory in Pilsen, Czech Republic. In April 2005, assembly lines for middle/large units will be put into operation. The company also plans to construct a new factory for air-conditioner compressors in the Czech Republic by the end of the year.

Hitachi is expanding its European sales of high energy saving inverter-type air-conditioners. The company’s 2004 European sales are estimated to be 130,000 units, up 50 percent over the prior year. Currently, the company is selling value-added models equipped with a negative generator.

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. has plans to enhance the distribution efficiency between its European and Malaysian production facilities. The company will open a commercial air-conditioner supply center in Germany and will review its household air-conditioner distribution facilities. Matsushita is also raising its production capacity at the Malaysia facility to full capacity.

 

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